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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our Happy Family Thanksgiving

This year we happened to do something different ----

Our son and his wife always spend Thanksgiving with her family, and Easter with ours.  That is a good trade-off and a nice way to share the holidays.  They make time for both families on Christmas so we are very happy with that too. We will see them soon for Christmas and that will be good for all.

Our daughters Erin and Heather both have young babies this year to consider. They decided between the two of them that one would do Thanksgiving (Heather) and one would do Christmas (Erin).  That sounds good too!  They only live five miles apart and do not need to travel so far with little babies. Especially if the roads get bad this time of year. I do not want to force them to trek 75 miles to my house with small children to make it a holiday at my home.  I would rather go to their homes and let them be in comfort with the small ones in their own environment.

It is a bit of a change-up for us because we usually try to attend the Pfundtner Thanksgiving Gathering every year with Steve's family. But we are feeling the pull to the faraway homes with the newest little granddaughters---- especially after both of their difficult entries to this world. Both babies were preemies, and have some health concerns as they grow.  We need to be close.....

Heather and Jesse, along with our oldest grandson Jameson and baby Whitney, graciously opened their wonderful home to the family to attend this year. Jesse's brother Tyler and his wife (also a Heather!) and little girl Scarlett came for the day too... along with our daughter Erin, Waylen and their family of little Chelsea, Clayton and new baby Claire. What a wonderful houseful of family love.

We arrived early to visit and share and see if we could help with the cooking. Nope, not needed... our wonderful soninlaw Jesse had the turkey all under control.  His first bird!!!  And daughter Heather was busy with her delicious sides and desserts.  She had the house all set up for company and we felt welcomed and included.

We all brought dishes to pass and it was going to be one fine feast!  The turkey came out like a picture from a magazine-----

We had everything ready for a feast:
Cranberry stuffing, cheezy red potatoes, corn
 and who can forget the Green Bean Casserole with 
crunchy onions on top! 

I brought my famous calico beans, the traditional Grandma Van's fruit salad and my two homemade pumpkin pies.  OH, and a bowl of Cool Whip.  Can't forget the Cool Whip! LOL  Heather did up a pistachio torte and we brought some cookies for the kiddos too. (Thanks Hillary for the recipe!)

My girls have always loved cranberry sauce right from the can, the jellied kind. No other will do.  Heather showed her supreme skill in removing the delightful dish from the cans... haha

The kids shared a toast with the grownups. Heather was sure to buy non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice for them. It is a tradition when they were little girls to join in on the toasts. I am so glad to see them continuing the tradition with our grandchildren.

They have learned table manners, graceful dining, and 
how to have a dinner conversation. 
They are a pleasure to be around for meals.
Our children are raising their children well.

I parked myself at the Children's Table---- to help supervise a bit, of course.  But also to talk with the kids.  We retold the story of the Pilgrims and Indians... and oh the things that they came up with on sharing and being nice neighbors to each other as the Pilgrims came to the New World.  It was a good ''kid version'' without the harsh realities of some of the details that we adults are aware of.  The kids talked about what they were thankful for.  I loved all their spontaneous answers and enthusiastic input.   They sure are a creative bunch!

With the new babies, I got in some snuggles and play...

Heather was sure to have out some creative crafts and games to
keep the kids busy while the grownups had a chance to visit.

We got to bring along our dogs so they were not left at home alone for so long. It is 75 miles up and 75 miles back to their home, plus a long day of family fun.  Our dogs are very quiet and stay in their crate and out of the way. They were welcome guests in the home too.

The sugar high set in after dessert.  
The grandtots did some silly dancing
and then dive-bombing onto the cool beanbag loveseat they have.

After full bellies, lots of laughter and lots of grandtot noise, we needed to toddle on home. I helped with some of the cleanup and Heather doled out leftovers to everyone.  We are really most thankful for our wonderful families... and for each other.



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